Have You Considered Trial Periods?

Consider a Trial Period when recruiting

Hiring a candidate on a temporary basis in order to assess their skills is a great way to avoid high turnover as you’re less likely to be stuck with employees who end up being unsuitable for the job. As long as the trial period (usually ninety days) is clear to the prospective employee, paid and they receive the same rights as other employees, this can be a successful way to ensure you only permanently hire the best candidates. Of course, for specialist roles this recruitment strategy may not be your best option, but if your company is small and/or you’re struggling to find the right people, consider offering trial periods in the following situations.

You connect with a candidate.

If you come across someone who would fit in perfectly with the company and you get on well with, but they lack a key skill needed for the job role, then a temporary contract could be the answer. Explain to the candidate why you like them but also why you’re concerned that the skill that they’re missing will have an effect on their ability to do the job well. If they are truly passionate about the role, your company and the industry, it’s likely they will jump at the chance to prove themselves – especially with a potential permanent contract at the end of it. This will enable you to confirm how well they fit into the team, while assessing their ability to learn the skill they’re missing in order to handle the job effectively.

Junior positions.

Similar to the point above, those applying for entry-level roles may not have much experience in the industry or job you’re offering. Although you’re aware of the support and guidance these employees will require once hired, it is still daunting to hire candidates who could quite easily crumble under the pressure or suddenly decide this career path isn’t for them. Suggesting a trial period, as long as you’re clear about what this involves, can be beneficial to both you and the prospective employee as you can both gain an idea of how the candidate handles the working environment. Furthermore, they can determine whether this is truly the career path they wish to pursue.

Difficult vacancies.

There may be some positions that are harder to fill than others, in which case this recruitment strategy could help you reduce the high turnover they’re creating. If a few people who held the same role have left or been dismissed, offering a temporary contract can help you assess a number of suitable candidates by replacing the final interview with the offer of a trial period for the remaining applicants. Rather than having to choose between them, you can hire all of them on a temporary basis and alert them to the fact that their success in the next three months will determine whether this contract will be made permanent. This allows you to develop a number of candidates into employees who will be successful in the role, avoiding further recruitment for the position in the near future. However, if you’re having a particularly difficult time filling a role, it may be time to investigate further into the reasons for this high turnover.

So if you lack confidence in your decision to hire a candidate for the vacancy you have to offer, why not try the trial period method in order to test the suitability of your final applicants? By enabling you to assess their ability to handle the role over a short period, you can reduce your turnover as you only permanently hire those who succeed in this time. The prospective employee can also benefit if they’re fully aware of the offer: they can ensure this is definitely the route they want to take and the right career path for them.